Have a read of our extensive fundraising guide, to help you and your unit raise funds. From bag-packs, to gift-aid, this guide covers everything you need to know about fundraising.
Download the full printable fundraising guide here.
There are lots of ways to raise money for your unit and this resource is designed to help you maximise your fundraising efforts. For the full fundraising toolkit, visit the Girlguiding website here. Whatever you’re doing to fundraise for your unit, good luck!
Think about what type of event is appropriate for your section and group:
- Sales (bake sale, car boot sale, craft sale)
- Family events (quiz, beetle drive, treasure hunt)
- Sponsorship activities (using sites such as Just Giving, as well as Gift Aid, to maximise donations)
- Decide how large your event will be and think about what support you might need
- Put together a core team to manage the event; looking at people’s strengths and possible contacts.
- Use local volunteers, parents and community members to support with your event.
Supermarket Bag Packing
This is a popular fundraising activity where members offer to pack customers’ shopping at supermarkets to encourage donations. This activity is open to all members of Girlguiding, but do remember to check the supermarket’s policy.
Rules & Regs
- Normal ratios for activities away from the unit meeting place should be adhered to and the unit leader must ensure that all participants under the age of 18 have written permission to take part in the activity, from an adult with parental responsibility.
- The local commissioner must be informed that the activity is taking place and a risk assessment must be carried out before the activity takes place.
- The collecting tin or other receptacle must, by law, be under the control of someone over the age of 16 (young members must not collect money by themselves).
- At least two people must be present when the money is counted, and a record should be kept of the amount collected in each tin or other receptacle.
- Contact the community champion at the store, if there is one.
- Explain to the young members taking part how to suitably pack breakable items, before the activity takes place.
- Ensure you make it clear what the funds are being raised for and clearly label the collecting tin.
- If you are collecting for a registered charity, the label should include the words ‘A Registered Charity’.
- Whilst bag backing, have an information stall, if you are able; it’s a good opportunity to get some publicity and to recruit both young members and adults.
- Afterwards, ensure thanks are sent to the supermarket and that they are informed of the amount raised.
Supermarket Token Scheme
Many supermarkets now let their customers decide which charity they should donate money to; the supermarket selects three charities and allows customers to select their chosen charity by providing them with a small token to place into the box of the charity of their choice. To get involved, contact your local supermarket and ask to be part of the scheme - you can nominate a cause online for some supermarkets, and staff will then vote for three charities out of all the potentials
Tips to increase your chances
- Give as much information as you can – localised and specific causes are usually more popular.
- Don’t give up! There are lots of worthy causes so you may not get chosen the first time, but ask to be considered on a regular basis
- If you are one of the chosen three, ask if you are able to put up any more information about your group, on a community notice board for example.
Recycling is a good activity to encourage within your groups, not only to assist with fundraising efforts for your unit or for another charity, but because it is good for the environment!
Items you can collect to recycle
- Mobile phones
- CDs and DVDs
- Ink cartridges
These can then be sent to charities to raise money, for instance
- https://www.fonebank.com/schools/ (Can register organisations too)
Or, you can use websites like the below to raise funds for your own unit:
Prices vary on different sites so do compare prices before you sell!
Raffles, Lotteries and Draws
There are two kinds of lotteries (which include raffles and draws) that are likely to be suitable for fundraising in guiding:
- Small lotteries at exempt entertainments - Those which are purely incidental to an event, such as a bazaar or fete. In that case, tickets can only be sold at the event itself, the draw must be made and the prizes presented during the course of the event, and no prizes may be in the form of money.
- Private lotteries - Those which are not run in connection with, and at, a particular event. In this case, the unit or area concerned must be registered for the purpose with the Local Authority at an annual fee. The “promoter” must be a member of the unit or area and it must be authorised in writing by the relevant commissioner. Certain other conditions must also be met.
Care must be taken to ensure that prizes offered to participants are suitable. Girlguiding has no policy on whether or not alcohol is a suitable prize. However, some Police Authorities have a view that offering alcohol as a prize without a Justice’s Licence is an offence, and it may therefore be prudent to confirm the position with the local Police. There is no restriction on offering homemade foods or toys, but in either instance reasonable steps should be taken to ensure that they are safe.
More information and advice
- Institute of Fundraising: http://www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/code-of-fundraising-practice/
- Lotteries Council: http://lotteriescouncil.org.uk/
- Gambling Commission: http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/
Raise funds for free with Easyfundraising
Easyfundraising is a free service that allows charities and good causes to raise money when their supporters shop online with over 2,700 retailers, including Amazon, John Lewis, Next and Argos.
"Don’t hesitate, it’s easy to join. Remember to use the ‘Find & Remind’ tool that will prompt you to use Easyfundraising. Now you don’t have to do anything, just watch the funds grow!” – Dorothy Cotton, leader of 28th Wallasey North Brownies.
How does it work?
1. Start at www.easyfundraising.org.uk/girlguiding-nwe
2, Register your unit
3. Make a purchase through Easyfundraising
Let’s say you want to buy a book from Amazon. Instead of going to amazon.co.uk, you go to easyfundraising.org.uk first – or you can use the Easyfundraising toolbar. When you click through to Amazon, a message is sent to them so they know you’ve come from easyfundraising.org.uk. The price of the book is exactly the same as if you’d visited Amazon directly, but you will receive a donation for purchasing via Easyfundraising.
4. Get a donation
Amazon pay Easyfundraising a fee as a ‘thank you’ for the extra sales, and Easyfundraising then turn that fee into a donation for your unit. It costs you nothing. It’s as simple as that! Your unit is ready to start raising money!
How is it paid?
Your unit will receive funds into your bank account up to four times per year for the funds you’ve raised. Spread the word and encourage others to help you raise money! Why not consider promoting your cause using some of the ideas below
- WhatsApp and text
- E-mail signature
- Article on website
- Holding presentations for parents
Gift Aid is a government scheme to encourage people to give to charity. Under the scheme, money given to charities – including Girlguiding subscriptions – is eligible for tax relief. A unit can therefore increase its funds by claiming gift aid. Setting up the scheme does involve a little work, but much of this is a one-off exercise.
How can my unit benefit?
You can claim money back from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on the subs paid by each girl in your unit. This means that, for every £1 of subs received, you can claim repayment of 25 pence (this is because a donor who is a basic-rate taxpayer will pay 25 pence tax when they earn £1.25). So, if a girl pays total subs of £45 in a year, you can claim back £11.25 from HMRC – if you have 20 girls in your unit, this means you could increase your unit funds by £225 a year! The money can only be claimed on subs. Other payments, such as those received for camp fees or outings, cannot be included. You may find it useful to write an explanatory letter to parents/carers explaining where their current subscription goes and what the extra money raised by the Gift Aid Scheme would be spent on. For an example letter, please see the Gift Aid Information pack https://www.girlguiding.org.uk/get-involved/fundraise-for-us/fundraising-toolkit/gift-aid/.
Six steps to claiming gift aid
- Step 1 - Find someone to help you with the administration, such as a parent, if you feel that you do not have enough time to set up the scheme.
- Step 2 - Register your unit with the Inland Revenue so that you can claim Gift Aid. This can be done via the Girlguiding website – search for ‘Gift Aid Forms’.
- Step 3 - Set up a Gift Aid record file. Again, further information is available in the Gift Aid Information Pack. The benefit of keeping everything in one place is that, if HMRC wishes to audit your unit records, it will simply be a case of giving them one file to inspect.
- Step 4 - Check your unit’s account books to ensure they record all of the information you need. If not, add an extra column for subscriptions that have been ‘gift aided’.
- Step 5 - Get the Gift Aid declarations signed by parents/carers and file them very safely for at least six years (after the end of the tax year they relate to) – they are worth money to you. Forms can be backdated to the girls’ start date at the unit for up to 4 years. *Please note that ‘Starting Forms…’ changed in March 2016, following compulsory changes from HMRC. Please ensure that you are using the most recent Gift Aid Declaration forms. Any forms dated before 4 April 2016 are no longer valid. However, you will not need to contact donors to update existing declarations.
- Step 6 - Once a year, or more often if you wish, fill in the Inland Revenue claim forms to obtain your tax repayment. Keep your records filed safely in your Gift Aid record file.
Useful Organisations to Contact
Women’s Institute - There are many Women’s Institute groups throughout the North West - see the website for information about your closest group and get in touch with them to see if you can work together, as they are a great place to recruit volunteers and they may also be able to help with fundraising or offer some assistance.
Soroptimists - Similar to the WI, the Soroptimists have many groups around the North West and working with them may provide opportunities to raise awareness of your unit and to ask for help with fundraising. One of their main focuses is to advance human rights and the status of women and girls. Local groups operate in different ways, but they often support local charities with financial donations.
Rotary Club - The Rotary Club is a place where professionals with diverse backgrounds exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships. Sometimes local groups will work with communities and have small amounts of funding available.
Lions Club International - Lions Club International empowers volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding. Find your local group and contact them to see if they have funding available.
Round Table - Round Table is a non-political, non-sectarian association open to men between the ages of 18 and 45, from any profession or trade, and sometimes has grants available to support local groups.
Freemasons - The Freemasons operate a national grant which is not suitable for individual units. You can however apply to your local Freemasons house to ask about potential funding.
Contact any local businesses who might be willing to support you – this doesn’t have to be monetary, it could be cupcakes for a bake sale or a prize for a raffle. Have a clear project in mind with funding breakdown and what the members of your unit will get out of it.
Some questions to ask yourself before approaching a local business
- What do you need for unit?
- Could you approach them for sponsorship?
- How much will it cost them? Is it a one-off amount or a regular amount?
- What will they get out of it? Mention on social media, business name on your website, invited to any events held?
- Should you receive any form of support from a local business or organisation, be sure to send a letter of thanks.
Last but not least...
Don’t forget to contact your local councillor or MP to find out about local funding available